Experimenting with Yaki Onigiri

Today felt like a perfect day to experiment. So, I went about making my first Raspberry Souffle and exploring my ever so strong love for rice. I practically eat rice every day, with everything; I once ate rice with my Broccoli-Fennel Soup (it was quite good, I swear :)). I also like Japanese Yaki Onigiri, which is essentially grilled triangular-shaped short-grain rice with a delicious glaze. The standard Yaki Onigiris are typically grilled over wood-fire with a soy sauce glaze, to give it a smoky flavor and a slightly crunchy exterior. I wanted to break that norm, just a little bit. 🙃

I got started by dabbling with stuff on my notepad. As I said before, I love eating colorful food. So, I went with the colors and the tastes from the rather meager experience that I have with different dishes and jolted down the flavor profiles and the relevant looks of my potential yaki onigiri.

The thought process 🙂

I had already tried and remade Miso glazed Onigiri, so I wanted to try out the rest. The steps of making yaki-onigiri are quite simple, as you will see, but somewhat difficult to master. I often struggle with making the perfect triangular shape, but hey, I’ll just call them unique 😉

A quick tip while making onigiri – ensure that you don’t apply too much pressure when you make the triangles. You want to conserve the shape of the rice grain so that you can enjoy the taste and texture in its entirety. If you have any questions on how to make an Onigiri, please leave a comment, and I will update this post.

1. The Indian – Yaki Onigiri

I made this Yaki Onigiri in reminiscence of lemon rice. I like making lemon rice when I want something quick, cheap, and have some leftover rice. I always made mine just a bit extra fried to add some crunch factor, and I grabbed on to that idea to make this grilled delight!

You’d need the following for the glaze:

  • Lemon Juice (1/4th of a lemon)
  • Lemon Zest
  • Asafoetida Powder (A pinch)
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Rice
  1. Start by combining the rice and mustard seeds as desired, and make your triangular onigiri
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pan, and start heating them in medium-high heat (glaze)
  3. Heat another pan/grill, and grill the onigiri as it is for 30 seconds on each side
  4. When the glaze has a thick fairly thick consistency, glaze the onigiri
  5. Grill more as required, and serve

2. The Spicy – Yaki Onigiri

There is a classic combination of flavors when it comes to my favorite spicy food – Ginger, Garlic, and Chili Powder. I wanted to transfer this to Yaki Onigiri, and that gave birth to this particular glaze concoction. This Onigiri is particularly delicious if you fill it with your favorite filling, which can be anything from cooked meat to grilled fish, and it will work. I used grilled salted salmon for this – got to stick with the classics 🤣

You’d need the following for the glaze:

  • Chili Powder (as much heat as you can handle)
  • Ginger and Garlic paste (2 tbsp)
  • Water (20 mL)
  • Your desired filling (mine was grilled salmon)
  • Rice
  1. Start by making the triangular onigiri with your desired filling
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pan, and start heating them in medium-high heat (glaze)
  3. Heat another pan/grill, and grill the onigiri as it is for 30 seconds on each side
  4. When the glaze has a thick fairly thick consistency, glaze the onigiri
  5. Grill more as required, and serve

3. The Curry – Yaki Onigiri

I think curry is a versatile dish, and almost every Asian country/region has its own version. Have you ever mixed curry with rice while you were heating it in a pan? I have, and that inspired this dish because I quite enjoyed the crisped up bottom! You can use any curry that doesn’t have a roux for this Yaki Onigiri. Fill the inside with meat or vegetables from your stew/curry. Please, just make sure that the onigiri itself doesn’t get soggy when you are filling it up. I used the curry leftover from my Burmese Chicken Curry.

You’d need the following for the glaze:

  • Burmese Chicken Curry
  • Scallion
  • Rice
  1. Start by combining the rice and scallion as desired, and make your triangular onigiri
  2. Combine the curry sauce in a pan, and start heating them in medium-high heat (glaze)
  3. Heat another pan/grill, and grill the onigiri as it is for 30 seconds on each side
  4. When the glaze has a thick fairly thick consistency, glaze the onigiri
  5. Grill more as required, and serve

4. The Protein – Yaki Onigiri

Lentil powder is a staple in my house. I used it when I want something in less than 5 minutes, and I only have rice left. It is packed with protein and can be combined with Salt and Sesame oil for flavor. It’s basically a furikake of sorts. Since we are using a dry ingredient, the crunch factor is quite splendid.

Lentil powder can be made by drying out Green Split Peas, Split Red Lentils, and Cumin in a pan on medium heat, and then blitzing it into a fine powder. You can store it for up to six months on an air-tight container.

You’d need the following for the glaze:

  • Lentil Powder (1:1 ratio of Green Split Peas, and Red Split Lentils, add as much Cumin as you’d like)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chili Powder (optional)
  • Rice
  1. Start by making your triangular onigiri
  2. Combine the Lentil Powder with the Sesame Oil (glaze, no heat required here)
  3. Heat another pan/grill, and grill the onigiri as it is for 30 seconds on each side
  4. When the glaze has a thick fairly thick consistency, glaze the onigiri
  5. Grill more as required, and serve

5. For the love of Karaage – Yaki Onigiri

I LOVE Japanese Fried Chicken, otherwise known as Karaage. Then again, I quite like any type of fried chicken. So, here is a recipe for Yaki Onigiri specifically for Karaage as the filling. It was that simple! 😅

You’d need the following for the glaze:

  • Minced Garlic (1 Tbsp)
  • Awaguchi Soy Sauce (1 Tbsp) – I like it a bit sweet
  • Usukuchi Soy Sauce (1/2 Tbsp)
  • Sake (1 Tbsp, Optional)
  • Karaage
  • Rice
  1. Start by making your triangular onigiri with the karaage as filling
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pan, and start heating them in medium-high heat (glaze)
  3. Heat another pan/grill, and grill the onigiri as it is for 30 seconds on each side
  4. When the glaze has a thick fairly thick consistency, glaze the onigiri
  5. Grill more as required, and serve

What’s next?

I still have to try out the Broccoli glaze, and will come up with more wacky ideas. Till then, see y’all in my next post. Here’s a short couplet for new adventures:

Wacky ideas are crazy indeed,
Until your taste buds say – Yes, please!

P.S: Here is my first every Souffle! (Yeah, I know, it needs work!)

There is a first time for everything. But seriously, why is pastry cream so good??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s